The usual week vs the political one

The announcement of “popular walks” started a chain-discussion of usual vs political everything – bloggers discussed things like usual cats and chess and “shaurmas” (eastern dish: grilled meat rolled in pita bread, similar to Donner Kebab), contrasting them with their political alternatives.

The attempts by mk.am to find 8 differences between the two cats in the picture (the regular cat on the right and the politically motivated one on the left) were certainly entertaining, although quite unproductive – which is, in part, what the blogger was trying to prove.

The ‘draft legislation for all things walking’, proposed by the Zbosanq blog, found the sympathy of RA former president Levon Ter-Petrossian supporter blogs. Here are a couple of articles from this mock-law (unofficial translation):

Article 2. General points

The people have the right to walk solely in the cases stipulated by this law. […]

The location of the walk, the maximum radius of departing from the starting point of the walk, the direction of the walk as well as the hour designated for the walk are approved by the RA president as presented by the RA prime-minister […]

Article 3. The guidelines for implementing a walk

Walks should be attended alone.

Those attending the walk should carry a passport at all times. The passport must be valid for a duration, which is three months longer then the duration of the intended walk.

Speaking of the ‘draft law’ Unzipped writes:”I am telling you – this is just fantastic. You have to read it! :) Creativity without limits!”

As to the whole concept of ‘political walking’, Onnik Krikorian comments on Unzipped’s blog: “Might sound like a fun idea, but it won’t achieve anything, in my opinion, but anyway. Again, the problem is that a) the actions are either a) too subliminal or b) considered too pro-Levon.”

Pigh writes about political chess and Levon Ter-Petrossian’s supporters: “Looks like when they start chanting ‘Levon, Levon’, it will turn out that they meant Aronyan :) Also, on March 21 they were carrying a poster with Sasun Mikayelyan’s photo. To the question of the policeman, who that was, a lady replied: ‘My grandpa’.”

As to eating “Political shaurma” on the Northern Avenue, Uzogh is laconic:”Is it just me, or has marasm surpassed all limits?”. Later on the same entry, responding to Yaloona’s question, why is it, that the Ter-Petrossian supporters are not doing any “political garbage collection”, Uzogh explains: “Everything’s simple Mam. You can’t have lot’s of people willing to collect garbage, whereas in the case of shaurma eating, a crowd will come running.”

All in all it is clear, that the blogosphere has adopted a waiting stance, rather then a happy-mocking one. Most are limiting themselves to rather surfaced discussions. Mark Grigorian is exploring the reasons for this, suggesting, that either bloggers have nothing to say, or are scared to speak, whearas, according to him, this is the time, that the heated debates would have been most useful.

A1plus blog on its turn, has a rather grim depiction of the developments around the ‘political walks’, portreying its vision in the post, entitled – “brave steps to dictatorship”:

For several days in a row the political political walks in the Northern avenue end with “manhunt”. The police keep detaining people walking in this area, passers by, a citizen who took the dog out for a strall, literally everybody. (the police are explaining, that they are detaining the people in this area, because there are people under investigation, and it is quite probable, that they might be in the Northern avenue).

Check out the fresh issue of the “Armenian Blogosphere” radio program available here in mp3 format. You can also use Itunes or an Ipod to subscribe to podcasts on this blog. As to the radio program – it was put together by the Internews Armenia team, which also has a section based on the Armenian version of this post. The program will be broadcast by Radio Hay this Saturday, in their 11 o’clock political program.

Podcast in Armenian:
Podcast in English:
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56 thoughts on “The usual week vs the political one

  1. There was also a digest of posts on the walks last week on Global Voices Online.

    Despite amendments to the law on public marches, rallies and demonstrations following the recently lifted state of emergency in Armenia, the opposition continues to hold meetings on the streets of the capital, Yerevan. In order to circumvent the restrictions, the gatherings attended by less than 100 people are held under the guise of playing chess, reading books or even eating fast food in public.

    http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2008/03/30/armenia-opposition-protests-continue/

  2. es arden blog dracrel es irar jan asel jan lselu tex qu oniki hmar??!!!

    ENJOY!!!!!

  3. Now yes:)
    It was nice! Artur jan you are doing great job-good for you.Wait for alaverdi from my side:)
    Offtop
    Hope,today people will play “esh milica” on the Northern Avenue:)

  4. “esh milica?” – I’ll go check it out. Sounds like a fun game! loooool

    PS: it’s not quite offtop – because this post is about anything usual vs political. so the game’s on northern avenue are quite on-top

  5. esh milica idea was pertient on the day general prosecutor joined the walks……

    so milica was already there for many days and the esh joined that day..there you go all participants present..so one would need to see again both present to be able to play the game!

    regards to all

    yervand

  6. Pigh ( Tigran Kocharyan) him el @ndimadir es dzevanum u kez nerkayatsnum vorpes sharjman masnakits?
    Gna dashnaktsakan kustoms@d handznir @nker Pigh.

  7. interesting observation:

    @nker bar@ ogtagorcvuma komunistneri yev dashankneri koxmic miajn! vorpes dimelu migoc paroni poxaren!

  8. Haik – I think you’ve misunderstood something. Tigran was always pro-dashnak, which over the past 8 years at least has meant pro-state. That doesn’t necessarily mean pro-government, but in most cases, that’s how it has worked out.

  9. Well it sounded to me as if he now pretends or wants to be a supporter of the movement, at least his tone has been changed recently i.e. he doesnt make pro-Serj and faschist remarks anymore.
    And therefore I suggested him /pigh/ to come out of Dashnaktsutyun as it is a disgrace to our nation.
    First they signed under the paper and accepted the outcome of elections ( when many votes were stolen from even their candidate). and then they became part of the colalition government.
    Those two are only enough to suggest that it is a spineless party.
    I am not talking about their nazzi and fascist nature.

    Coming to those pictures as it is written in my blog I received them in mail some times ago. MKdotAM’s and your blog gave me the idea to use them for a new “find a difference” game. To me there is only one difference between them.

  10. Haik – I quite liked the Levonator and Serzhadevil. The Cobra-Kocharyan, although quite reflective of Kocharyan’s evil nature, is not quite as good. The one man is – well – somewhat tasteless – but you’re right. It’s not your creation.

  11. mersi observer jan, pix shat hacheli er dzajnt lsel! bajc pxi amenakarevor hnchjun@ chlseci!

    isk aveli lurg kgnam buzvelu u nervers hangstacnelu! bajc miajn haxteluc heto!

    have fun!

  12. robert qocharyan@ najev karciq e haytnel-

    chisht klini, ete mer orensdrutyun@ hamari qreoren patzeli ararq hay zoxovrdi tarber hatvacneri meg sep xrelu kam atelutyun sermanelu gorcuneutyun@!

    NO COMMENTS!!!!!!

  13. The idea for creating the robert Kobrayan was to pass the message that the nikcname of taht person is cobra. Sometimes pictures say more than the words.

  14. by the way, i was one of the first people to say, that LTP is promoting racism and that it will lead to bad consequences. I didn’t know it would turn out as ugly as it eventually did. my point is – considering the context, the speculations about the legislative initiative to legally forbid discriminating against someone based on their place of birth is perhaps a good idea.

  15. who hates karabax people leaving in karabax????!!!!

    not me!!!!

    so it is not as strict as you wish it to be.nobody never ever discrimante people according to their place of birth…..and the fact two fashists being originally from karabax is first of all a problem for karabax !!!

  16. so what is the racism that ltp promoted?? beating people who were named “our brothers and sisters” by serz and who were PEACEFULY protesting for 10 days?!!!!!

  17. Observer I am glad that you admit being the supporter of the regime…at least you are honest.not like some people pretending that they are for freedom and democracy…..

    My understanding is that if someone tolerates the fashistic regime then he is for or at least with that regime!

    GOOD LUCK AND FREEDOM TO ARMENIA!

  18. Ap, I was saying ‘according to your definition’! You seem to call everybody who disapproves Ter-Petrossian – a supporter of the regime.
    Fact is – I have an equally strong dislike both for Levon and Serzh… and for cobra-Kocharian as well for that matter.

  19. Observer jan,

    again and again i have to make clear once again that the issue is not about being for or against levon!!!

    is it so difficult to understand it? are you saying if levon weren’t the leader of todays opposition you would completely support the national movement??!!!

    if serz stands with the nation as levon does now i would support him (disregarding the fact for a moment that serz by itself is not acceptable in any form)

    don’t you undertsand that levon is the only means that nation can use to fight against such a regime! who else could do that?? unfortunately no one!

    i told you many times that i hated levon during his presidency!

    the first person to oppose him was me!

    now i ask you why is it so difficult to understand that if levon tomorrow after giving him the second chance will go wrong way, again the whle nation who is supporting him now will stand and fight against him! (as it happened in 1996 after supporting him in 1991)

  20. I am confused. What is Yervand saying?

    It feels like he is saying (Armenian) es puypuynem mknik lyalyaaaa lyalyalyalyaaa isk kochariany debila.

    Yervand jun, axper jun de mi ban asa mi ban haskananq.

  21. is it so difficult to understand that number one and the most important acheivements of of ltp is that he gave people the feeling that they can change and they are the ones who decides as who is going to be the president and how he will run the country. And not like it was before when people were deeply disappointed and completely hopeless thinking that it is not them who decides and nothing depends on their will and it is not even worth going to elections cz the outcome is already clear and doesn not depend on them (and this was exactly the situation before ltps return into politics).

    and don’t you think that one major and most important prerequisite for establishing democracy is to have a society with high self consciousness and full of readiness and will to demand and protect it’s right and freedom to elect the president.

    number one condition of establishing democracy is to have president elected after free and fair elections which will truly and fully reflect peoples will. then only any president elected in such a way is going to everything possible for the people if he wants to be re-elected recognising perfectly his complete dependance on people.

    this is how i understand the current situation and how i see the way we have to go through to establish democracy.

    therefore anyone who will be against such a society, that we have now, just because of the reason that you do not like the leader whom it has chosen , will be also against establishing democracy in our country. anyone who will be discouraging people from fighting for their rights and freedom just because you think they have chosen the wrong one to lead them , will be considered as being against democratic movement. the matter is not who leads the democratic movement at this point but what matters is the quality of the movement. and no doubt that such a society will stand against anyone in the future who will go against democracy and freedom , even its ltp who leads the movement now.

    PS: obsever, I hope you pubslish my previous post too as this one is the continuation of it.

  22. HaikN
    I would be very thankful to you if you find any proSERJ or fascist remark from my side in any posts ,comments or remarks. Otherwies I am waiting for your excuses here.
    I would never join to any Levon’s supporting action,because I do not consider him as an opposition,for me it is the same to consider him or Ilham Aliev.
    About dashnaks and their behavior,that is another question not to be discussed here.
    The worse thng happened in Armenia for me it is absence what we call Third Force,because of polarization in Armenia.
    P.S.For your info,nickname of Kocharian was Gyurza,not Cobra:)

  23. Tigran Kocharyan

    There is no need for me to go and search in your mainly Russian language blog for proSerj remarks or fascist comments. Why?
    Simply because at the end of the day you voted for Serj and his fascist regime.
    I explain; your ballot with a voted to V Hovhannisyan might have been added to Serje’s ballots without your knowledge, or a voice inside you disapproves dashnaktsutyun’s approval of that and other falsifications.
    This is OK but the bottom line is if you are still a member of dashnaktsutyun you automatically approve all the above therefore you support Serj and his fascist regime. It is that simple. Either join with other dashnaks and change the image of your party or leave dashanktsutyun to cleanse the innocent blood off your hands.

    I haven’t said this before but I will say it here:
    I didnt join this movement because of Levon, this movement is not about Levon, this movement is about people, the future of Armenia. Levon is not the end, he is just the means ( he said this himself, see: http://www.payqar.org/am/77/) .
    I dont belong to any political party and I dont support any. I have no intensions to get into politics ( this movement is not a political movement), I have better and more useful things to do.
    I am a freeman , an autonoman who wants to see free Armenia.

  24. Let me summarize HaikN’s rant:

    If you are not with LTP, then you are the enemy. A traitor, a villain, a mafia-boss, cog in the criminal machine. We in LTP-lala land do not accept any difference of opinion, and if you are not calling for a revolution designed to undermine the state (not just the government) of Armenia, then you are against us.

  25. AH
    You are an expert in twisting the words and changing the meanings. You not only twist Levon’s words but also mine. The example is just few lines above,- please point me where you read that I am not with LTP?
    It seems that you are another dashnaktsakan who is so ashamed of his/her party that moans and is in search of scapegoats to hide the shame.
    Be a little bit open minded and go and read Levon’s speeches at:
    http://www.payqar.org/am/38/

  26. Thanks for the invitation HaikN, but I and the nation together suffered enough under 7 years of Levon speeches, and after a 10 year nap, another few months more. I recall well how he was against Armenia having its own Constitution, its own army, and how he views the Diaspora as an enemy, while calling Turkey and Azerbaijan his friends, how he considers the state (not just government, but the state) criminal, and how he exhorts his minions with invective, hate-mongering, and racist diatribes.

    Enough oratory for me, thx. Good riddance from the political scene. Another 10 year nap coming, I hope.

  27. AH
    none of your words have grounds.

    to remind you: LTP was a leader or president when amnong many other achievments the 3rd Armenian republic was formed, The war against Azerbaijan was won, the Trurkish invesion was stopped due to his smart foreign policy, The army was formed, the first constitution was formed.
    You only listen haylur and dont even want to know more than what they say e.g. your refusal to read LTPs speeches.
    Also you continusly fail to understand that this is not about Levon, this movement is about freedom.
    Try to look ahead or at teh current events. I dont look back to call the failures of the 18-20 Republic, or the dashnaktsakans assistance to young Turks to come to power. They already happened, new generations came, the world changes very fast, things were different even 5 years ago.
    In short it seems you justify the current fascism.

  28. HaikN – I read it. Not so interesting to me. And not much new. I have heard lots of similar ramblings from Diasporans and locals alike. While it is good to document the past, I think it is more important to look ahead. Thankfully, most people are much more realistic now after the 1st generation of graft, theft, naivete, and complete unpreparedness are over.

    What do we as a nation do in this 2nd generation? Hopefully, at least learn from the mistakes. Hopefully, at least do no harm, when trying to help or make something better.

  29. AH
    It is good that you now started looking ahead.
    So what do you think does Armenia have a future with Serjik (Robik in the shadow)? Do we have a future in a fascist regime?

  30. I honestly don’t see a much better alternative for Armenia now. I think that all who are dissatisfied with the present situation need to work hard to cultivate new leaders, and work to rally people around a positive message. I found the previous administration under Kocharian to be better than the previous one under Levon, and I am optimistic that under Serj it will be one more step forward.

    I don’t believe that a coup would have changed things for the better, on top of the fact that it was led by a proven discredited failed leader.

    Change requires hard work, and positive change requires doing no harm. What we all witnessed the last few months violated these fundamental tenets. I am glad this difficult chapter is over, and that we can collectively look ahead, with a diversity of views. You may not agree with me, but I am optimistic.

  31. Well I should disagree.
    firstly I think we all agree that Serj didnt win the elections.
    Secondly even the published “official” number show that 351.222 people gave their voices to him. Based on the “official” numbers this is around 25% of votes. We all know that the number is much higher. but even that 25% is a high enough to demonstrate that Levon is not a discredited politician.
    I would suggest you read the following article: http://www.massisweekly.com/Vol28/issue09/pg2.pdf
    (based on the calculations of this article there were around 1124000 voters; based on that number Levon gained 31% and Serj only 28% , and we dont count the irregularities at the polling stations, and the bribes given to people).

    Thirdly we have March the 1st. Peaceful demonstrators have been attacked, beaten up and shot at. And for what because they gathered near French Embassy.

    As a conclusion I would say that yes there was a coup and that coup was organised by Serj and Robert. It was a coup against the people and freedom. This makes Serj a dictator.

  32. Unreliable numbers and magic-math to say the least. As in any election, there are official numbers, observations by local observers, and by international observers. This is the basis for results. All this other hearsay and wishful thinking is not helping analysis much. Not to mention historical revisionism.

  33. Well even based on the official results around 25% of the voters voted for LTP. This is 1/4 of the population. I hope this is a big number to change your perception taht levon is discredited.

    We know that the elections were highly falsified by Serj. Therefore it is time for you to face the reality.
    I am sure if new and fair ellections were conducted this weekend Levon would gain over 51% of the votes. I assure you many who voted for Artur, Vazgen, Geghamyan and Vahan would now vote for Levon.

  34. Levon being discredited to me has little to do with the official numbers of voting (about 10% of the population). There is no suprirse to me that each groups of the ruling elites have their “10%” or so. Add to that various protest vote segments and you get a reasonable picture, one that you would find in any country.

    As far as who would win in a re-election, I don’t know, and I never put much stock in extreme partisan wishful thinking predictions.

  35. AH
    I have no comments other than that you are a supporter of fascism and i dont want to have another word with a fascist. If it was up to people like you you would slaughter all the people gathered at Freedom and Myasnikian squeres.

  36. AH- I agree on your comment that LTP electorate includes protest groups. However, they voted for LTP, but not for Arthur Bagdasarian, Vazgen Manukian, or any other candidate, who were opposition or claimed themselves as an opposition. How come “discredited” LTP get more votes than any of these “clean” candidates? NLP?

    Regarding 10% of each ruling elite group. LTP and his supporters are not ruling elite but manage to get 21 percent (officially) NOT of the population, but of voters. One can only guess how would vote the people who were unable or didn’t care to come to polling station for whatever reason. However, assuming, they all would vote against/for LTP he would get anywhere from 14.6% to 44.6%. Probably, the safest would be to estimate non-voters would give their votes to different candidates in the same proportion as voters did. This way we still have for LTP his official 21 percent.

    On the contrast, representative of ruling elite dashnaks got 6% much less than 10% .

  37. Fascism
    A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

  38. Fascism
    From: Britannica Concise Encyclopedia | Date: 2007

    Philosophy of government that stresses the primacy and glory of the state, unquestioning obedience to its leader, subordination of the individual will to the state’s authority, and harsh suppression of dissent. Martial virtues are celebrated, while liberal and democratic values are disparaged. Fascism arose during the 1920s and ’30s partly out of fear of the rising power of the working classes; it differed from contemporary communism (as practiced under Joseph Stalin) by its protection of business and landowning elites and its preservation of class systems. The leaders of the fascist governments of Italy (1922–43), Germany (1933–45), and Spain (1939–75)—Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and Francisco Franco—were portrayed to their publics as embodiments of the strength and resolve necessary to rescue their nations from political and economic chaos. Japanese fascists (1936–45) fostered belief in the uniqueness of the Japanese spirit and taught subordination to the state and personal sacrifice.

  39. I believe the above statements/definitions ring the bell. Especially the 1st one, no other way can be discribed the current situation in Armenia.
    So anybody supporting this current situation is a fascist or a short sighted carierist or has some financial gains /interests.

  40. The biggest similarity to fascism seen in Armenia is the cult-like fawning after LTP “the people will carry me from here (at the opera-dance-along) to the presidential palance on their shoulders”. Another gem: “Whoever is not with me is against me…is a national traitor” Or how about the 1930s Hitler-like reminiscence of scapegoating Karabakhtsis, or maybe the hate-mongering and racism invoking analogies to Mongol-Tatars.

    Good riddance from the political scene, LTP. Another 10 year nap couldn’tcome at a better time.

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